A career of integrity over dogma
The eternal comeback kid, in March 2008, John McCain clinched enough delegates to embark on the race for the White House.
But his career in the public eye began decades earlier.
As a pilot with the U.S. Navy, he began combat duty at the age of 30.
His time as a prisoner-of-war during the Vietnam War won him the status of hero and patriot.
However, McCain's military background gave him the reputation of a hawk among his opponents.
His support for the war in Iraq worked against him when the majority of Americans turned out to be against the conflict.
"I would rather lose the campaign than lose the war and I stick by that statement, we will never surrender in Iraq," McCain said at the time.
With a strong presence in the Senate, McCain's next goal was the Oval Office.
He ran for the Republican nomination but lost to George W. Bush. After Bush's re-election in 2004, he ran for and won the Republican nomination in 2008.
44-year-old running mate Sarah Palin was a political novice, chosen to reassure grass-roots Republican voters.
But things took a turn for the worse only three days after her nomination was announced. News broke of her pregnant, unmarried daughter amid accusations of abuse of power following the sacking of Alaska's Security Commissioner on personal grounds.
The Obama era
McCain and Palin were defeated by the Democratic candidate Barack Obama and his running mate Joe Biden in the 2008 presidential election.
McCain was re-elected to a sixth Senate term last year.
He did not hide his distaste for the latest U.S. president since the early days of Donald Trump's campaign for the White House.
This led to regular, personal attacks from Trump.